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Wanna know a "secret"? I missed 10 days of journaling/cycle tracking in my Cycles Journal last month. And so I wrote this message on the pages...

these pages hold space for me even when I cannot show up.

How is this true? Why did I forget to show up? Well, I guess I needed a short break to release obligations. Also it was on my shelf for a bit when I normally leave it near my altar or on my couch book pile so I interact with it visually.

When I allowed myself this space or time off (usually it happen unknowingly - I just release my 'doing' mind) and realized it later on, at first there was guilt, but I tried to reframe the guilty feelings like my therapist recommends. I realized it was just remembrance of something I missed - instead of regretting what I had missed, I could use this opportunity to reunite with something I really appreciate, feel connected to and supported by.

So returning was easier when I looked at it this way. I reminded myself too that I could just leave the pages blank, or fill in little notes on what I could remember or significant noticings, or add some affirmations to help counter all the judgmental and shameful thoughts.

Honestly, sometimes when I'm away or forgot to journal, I just write why on that page, and let that be enough! "Tired", "headache", "visiting family" is enough to remind myself that there was a reason, and my energy was occupied.

Shame or perfection are not the answers in our cycle tracking & journaling practices - and its not your fault that this is what we were taught. This is just another cycle to notice and work towards softening into with curiosity and maybe even compassion.

Even with a daily dated journal - the blank pages are there not as a pressure but as a placeholder for you to show up at your own capacity.

If it's blank one day - instead of feeling like it was a waste, could you see it as simply holding the place to show you needed space that day? How can that be a part of your observations of cyclical mindfulness?

Sometimes knowing the space is there if or when you need it is enough. It's great when we feel safe enough to miss a day or two or more and trust that we'll come back to it when we're ready. That's not a weakness, it's a sign of flexibility.

And sure, sometimes if this happens too often it can be a signal that something needs to be shifted or adjusted in our rituals and processes - what it causing the road block? Is it the location, the time of day (I used to journal in bed before sleep but now I get too tired for that, so I either do it on the couch or at my altar before I get into bed, or sometime in the morning). It's only natural to evolve and change up your practices, or even shift your own commitments, like "I show up every other day and fill in what I remember".

So next time you "miss a day", or if you're looking back in your Cycles Journal (or any dated planner/journal), I invite you to say this out loud to yourself and/or write your version of it where/when you have blank space: (and believe it's true)

✨ these pages hold space for me even when I can't show up.

✨ this is a practice of returning, not regretting.

✨ when I return to these pages I remember that I deserve compassion not shame...

✨ this is about our cyclical nature, not linear consistency.

✨ as you are, as you show up, is always enough.

You are enough and so are your blank pages, which are there as a reflection that you deserve space and breaks, and that they're open for you to reclaim if and when you choose. 

October 06, 2023 — Rachael Amber Longo

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